Four Benefits You Get When You Master Your Emotions as Strategic Tools.

I have written extensively in this space about what emotions are (just tools) and how to strategically deploy (master) them as tools in your life to improve your life and your relationships.

My last few posts focused on giving you a roadmap for making (and successfully moving forward with) any desired changes in your life in the coming year.

Here is my challenge for you…

If you have not successfully mastered your emotions AND doing so was not on your list of desired changes, ask yourself this question..


  • too hard
  • hasn’t been a problem so far
  • don’t know where to start
  • other ______________

Let me address each of these right up front.

  • too hard

Yes, mastering your emotions may very well be hard.  But, it is always doable.

  • hasn’t been a problem so far

If this means that you are comfortable with effectively expressing your emotions and assertively dealing with the emotions of others, great.  Then perhaps all you need to do is revisit the Index tab above and fill in any gaps in your knowledge with past blog posts.

If, however, this means that you haven’t yet been challenged by your emotions then perhaps the saying “Dig the well before you need the water.” is appropriate and you should learn to master your emotions so that you are prepared when this skill is needed.

  • don’t know where to start

Okay, this may be an issue now, but  I’ll point you toward some previous blog posts which will get you started once you have decided that getting started in in your best interest.

  • other ______________

I can’t address what I don’t know.  I can, however, tell you that it is entirely possible that I have addressed just about any issue which you might have.  With this in mind, I suggest you click on the Index tab above and browse through past posts to find the information you require.

With your reasons for avoiding mastering your emotions out of the way, let’s move forward.

There are numerous studies that make it clear that we only change our behavior when we wish to get a reward or we wish to avoid some pain.

  • Avoiding pain is a good short term motivator.
  • Getting a benefit is a better long term motivator.

As we enter a new year, I  want to take a moment to revisit the benefits you will get when you learn to master your emotions.

If there is a specific pain you want to avoid that is connected to how you interact with your emotions, then I suggest you flip that pain on its head and think of how your life will be enhanced when you learn to master your emotions as tools. This becomes a benefit.

So, here is my second question for you…

What are the payoffs you will get when you learn to master your emotions as tools?

Here are four benefits to mastering your emotions as tools.

  1. You gain more control over your life.
  2. You feel empowered to strategically deal with situations as they come up.
  3. You have more options in choosing how you will respond to situations you encounter.
  4. You become more adept at effectively dealing with others and improving your relationships.

Let’s dive deeper into each benefit.

You gain more control over your life.

Have you ever used the navigator app on your phone or in your car?  I have.

You set a destination and the navigator tells you when to turn, auto corrects if you make a mistake, and guarantees that you will arrive at your destination.  It isn’t perfect and sometimes you have to intervene, but most of the time its pretty good.

The navigator gives me a sense of control in that I know I can get to my destination.

Mastering your emotions is in some ways similar to your navigator.

Your emotions…

  • inform you of how you are perceiving your situation and,
  • give you an alert when what you are experiencing isn’t in alighnment with where you think your life should be,
  • give you an opportunity to make a correction if that is needed.

Examples include:

(now) anger

  • informs you that you perceive a threat (in the present moment) to your integrity, goals, well-being, beliefs and so forth
  • prepares you to go to war to reestablish your boundaries, if necessary.
  • prevents you from feeling, or being, victimized by others.

Mastering anger gives you the opportunity to validate your anger and motivates you to assess the match between your perception and your reality and choose the most adaptive response to strategically  impact your situation.

(future) anxiety 0r worry

  • informs you of a possible threat (in the future) which might require your attention and action (just like you navigator which tells you about upcoming traffic)
  • gives you the opportunity to assess the relevance and likelihood of the threat and motivates you to take action to prepare for it (An example is preparing for an upcoming job/promotional interview.)

Again..mastering anxiety gives you the opportunity to assess the match between your perception and your reality and choose the most adaptive response to strategically  impact your situation.

(past) guilt 

  • informs you that you have violated your own values
  • gives you the opportunity to reassess your actions and choose the most effective way to right any wrong you committed including apologizing and changing the way you do things.

Mastering guilt gives you the opportunity to make amends for past actions. so that you can move forward in your life and your relationships.


When you learn to master your own emotions, you empower yourself to improve your relationships with others.

There are several reasons for this…

  • Learning to read the emotions of others gives you important insights into how they are perceiving their interactions with you.
  • This insight allows you to choose how you want to strategically interact with another person based on the direction you want the relationship to take including validating and clarifying the perception so that the emotion does not highjack the situation.  The end result is that the person feels understood, the situation is defused and the relationship is strengthened. This process makes it a win-win interaction for you and the other person.
  • All of this happens because you have learned to master emotions by validating the emotion, heeding the message of the emotion and the insight it gives you into how the other person perceives the situation, and choosing an adaptive response to move the relationship forward.

You can learn to master your emotions as tools and here are some past posts from my blog to help you get started.

There are over 225 posts all of which are directly accessible through the Index tab.  

Getting started. (earlier posts)

Why you might dislike having emotions.

Facts about emotions you probably didn’t know. Part 2: The Functions of emotions 1 through 5.

Facts about emotions you probably didn’t know. Part 3: Functions of emotions 6 through 10.

5 Steps to Master Any Emotion as a Strategic Tool

4 part series on anger. Part 1: Is it okay to be angry?

Love Mac and Cheese (LMAC): 4 Steps to Mastering Anger

You Verses Your Anxiety: 3 Secrets and 4 Steps to turn Your Inner “doom sayer” into an inner “motivator”. Part 1

2023 and the Changes You Have Chosen to Make.

Welcome back.

I hope you had a great Holiday season and Happy New Year.

Now that it is 2023, let’s get you back on track to use your emotions as tools to make some progress on the list you made in November, added to in December and will now use as a guide to changing your life in January.

At the end of last year you wrote 3 changes you want to make and 2-3 action steps per change to help you accomplish those changes.

As I to make the process of change slow and easy, I suggest you take 3 months for each change.

Or, to put it another way…one month per action step.

As you work on each action step, one of three “results” will occur.

1. You are feeling enthusiastic.

The message of enthusiasm is that you are enjoying what you are doing. Consequently,use the energy of the emotion of enthusiasm as motivation to keep going.

2. You are getting frustrated.

The message of frustration is that what you are doing isn’t working.

Using the Emotions as Tools Model, you need to validate (accept as a source of information) you emotion and assess its message as applied to your situation.

Are  you frustrated because you aren’t making as much progress as you think you should be making?  If so, give your self some slack and additional timer for each action step.  Okay, take another two weeks.

Maybe you frustrated because your action step is inadequate or poorly matched to the change you want to make.

In either case,  if you are still having challenges, perhaps you will need to make some adjustments to the action step.  If so, make some changes.

Or, perhaps, your frustration is informing you that the change you have designated as important to you is not as important as you originally thought.

This brings us to #3 which is the feeling of boredom.

3.You are getting bored.

Okay, the message of boredom is that the environment is no longer holding your atttention. The Emotions as Tools Model informs you that you need to understand the message of the emotion and choose an adaptive response.go for it.

If your boredom is informing you that you have completed the action step early and need to move on to the next step, well, go for it.

If, however, your boredom is informing you that the change you originally wanted to make is no longer relevant to your life, then you need to step back, reassess your life, and choose a new course.

The Emotions as Tools Model informs you that you strategically apply your emotions when you validate the emotion you are experiencing as a source of information (the message of the emotion), assess the importance and appropriateness of the message (how well does it apply to your situation), and choose an adaptive response.

To the extent that you have done this with the emotions you are experiencing, the changes you want to make in 2023 and the action steps you have devised, you will be in a position to move forward on your action steps or step back and reevaluate both the changes and the action steps, and utilize the energy of your emotions to  propel you forward to accomplishing what you want in 2023.

This is using your emotions as strategic tools.

You can do it.